Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confessed he does not know whether his leading scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic will still be at his club next season.
United and Mourinho have urged the striker who has scored 26 goals in his debut season with the Old Trafford club to sign the contract extension that was offered to him in December, but that signature has yet to be offered up.
With Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy tempting Ibrahimovic with a move money deal to end his trophy laden career in California, Mourinho admits his striker has not given him any hint over his plans.
“I am just calm and waiting for the decision,” Mourinho said in an exclusive interview with Rob Palmer from Sky Sports.
“If the decision is for him to stay and he is happy with that, we are delighted with that. If his decision is to leave and try to find a different challenge, I will be also happy for him.
“He is (a big part of our success this season), but the human being is more important than the player and the team. If his decision is to leave and try to be happy with his family and have a different reality, so be it.”
Reports last week claimed Ibrahimovic would sign a deal to stay at United for another year, yet these comments from Mourinho would suggest the striker’s future remains uncertain.
Ibrahimovic is believed to be holding out for a two-year deal to remain at United, but that offer has not been forthcoming and it is unlikely to emerge given his age.
It may be that Ibrahimovic is keen to play out his final years at a club competing in the Champions League and if that is the case, a decision on his next move might not be made until the end of the Premier League season.